The first thing I do before starting to analyze a State of the Union address for this news site is plug in the name “Israel,” to see how many times the US president has mentioned it. Good news: on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden mentioned Israel zero times.
I then plugged in “Iran” and got a very strange response. Here it is, his second-to-last line about the war in Europe: “Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he’ll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people.”
Huh? Yes, folks, it was a Joe Biden mental typo. He meant the Ukrainian people. Otherwise, there was zero mention of the Islamic Republic or the hearts and souls of its people.
Here’s a summary of what the president had to say about what America is doing for Ukraine:
Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the very foundations of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated. He thought he could roll into Ukraine, and the world would rollover. Instead, he met a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined.
He met the Ukrainian people.
From President Zelensky to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination, literally inspires the world.
Groups of citizens blocking tanks with their bodies. Everyone from students to retirees to teachers turned soldiers defending their homeland.
In this struggle, as President Zelensky said in his speech to the European Parliament, “light will win over darkness.”
The Ukrainian ambassador to the United States is here tonight, sitting with the first lady.
But while it’s always nice to hear an American president who is ready to fight to your last drop of blood, the situation on the ground is decidedly not in favor of the brave people: The Ukrainian army reported Wednesday morning that Russian airborne forces have landed in Kharkov and attacked a local hospital, and a major battle ensued; and the Russian army is operating in Kherson, the mayor sent an urgent appeal to President Zelenskyy: “Help us evacuate hundreds of bodies from around the city.”
Light may win over darkness, but darkness is not a pushover.
Yes, we, the United States of America, stand with the Ukrainian people. Throughout our history we’ve learned this lesson: When dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos.
They keep moving.
…That’s why the NATO alliance was created: to secure peace and stability in Europe after World War II. The United States is a member, along with 29 other nations.
…Putin’s latest attack on Ukraine was premeditated and totally unprovoked.
Seriously? Totally unprovoked?
Giora Eiland, a retired IDF Major General and former head of the Israeli National Security Council, wrote on Tuesday in Yedioth Aharonoth (פוטין לא הבליג על ההתגרות של ארה”ב) that when Vladimir Putin became president in 1999, he had a three-pronged message to the Americans: The first was that the US should not interfere in Russia’s internal affairs and not judge their morality, just as they weren’t judging black-and-white relations in America. Second, that the US not try to drag the former Soviet Union republics into NATO, which had been from inception a declared anti-Russian organization. And third, that the US treat Russia with respect and not expose it to unilateral moves.
For a US president to rave about the greatness of NATO and with the same breath claim the Russian attack on Ukraine was unprovoked suggests he does not understand Russia at all. Much like President Bush II’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had a doctorate on the Soviet Union but nothing on Russia.
He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond. He thought he could divide us at home, in this chamber, and in this nation. He thought he could divide us in Europe as well. But Putin was wrong. We are ready. We are united, and that’s what we did. We stayed united. … And now that he has acted, the free world is holding him accountable.
Along with 27 members of the European Union, including France, Germany, Italy, as well as countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and many others — even Switzerland — are inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine. Putin is now isolated from the world more than he has ever been.
Together, along with our allies, we are right now enforcing powerful economic sanctions.
We are cutting off Russia’s largest banks from the international financial system, preventing Russia’s central bank from defending the Russian ruble, making Putin’s $630 billion war fund worthless.
We are choking Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come. … The ruble has already lost 30 percent of its value. The Russian stock market has lost 40% of its value, and trading remains suspended. The Russian economy is reeling, and Putin alone is the one to blame.
Together with our allies, we are providing support to the Ukrainians in their fight for freedom. Military assistance. Economic assistance. Humanitarian assistance. We are giving more than $1 billion in direct assistance to Ukraine and will continue to aid the Ukrainian people as they defend their country and help ease their suffering.
But Joe Biden is not getting himself entangled in a real war, boots on the ground and all. Not after last summer’s Afghanistan fiasco. He’s only lifting a page from President Donald Trump’s playbook on Iran – and if Iran survived the worst US sanctions ever, Russia will as well. Especially with China ready, even eager to foot the bill.
…When the history of this era is written, Putin’s war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger. … We see the unity among leaders of nations, a more unified Europe, a more unified West. We see unity among the people who are gathering in cities, in large crowds around the world — even in Russia — to demonstrate their support for the people of Ukraine.
In the battle between democracy and autocracies, democracies are rising to the moment, and the world is clearly choosing the side of peace and security.
…Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he’ll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people. He’ll never extinguish their love of freedom. And he will never, never weaken the resolve of the free world.
Well, at least he didn’t mention Israel even once.